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•which I believe there has long been at least a sort of
implicit understanding so far as military history is
concerned, so that in this case we know where we are.
From a scientific point of view the papers of any Foreign
Ofljce have an authenticity and a finality with respect
to that Office's own policy which they cannot have in
relation to the foreign policy of other governments;
for in the latter case they do not show things from the
inside, and it stands to reason that they are more often
a matter of mere reporting.   A volume of selected
documents packed with such reporting might serve the
non-scientific reader in that it shows up the policy of
foreign States; and yet it might disappoint the serious
research student, eager for that higher kinAof documenta-
tion in which a Foreign Office really gives itself away,
At the opposite end of the scale, I must say that one of
the earliest things I learned as a research student in
diplomatic history was that amongst the dispatches from
ambassadors abroad the summaries of newspapers and
of general gossip could be regarded as almost the least
valuable of all.    Such dispatches are no confirmation
of the reports which they relay, and they are even one
stage more remote from being first-hand than the
newspapers, etc., which they are quoting.   They can
be used to make a case which might impress the general
reader;   but the technical student might expect the
Foreign Office to know what was in the newspapers.
In any event, nobody could  deduce from  selected
materials of this type either the real extent of the
intelligence possessed by the Foreign Office at a given
moment or the things of which it was culpably ignorant.